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Beliefs you changed your mind on...
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Beliefs you changed your mind on...
One of the lessons that can be learned from this thread -- and from following posters on a forum like this over a longish period of time -- is that men that are passionate and enthusiasts by nature will replace beliefs that they cherish, and imagine to be fundamental, with surprising speed and violence.

Furthermore, men who have undergone this process once never think it can happen again; in their enthusiasm, they feel that their current set of beliefs is permanent, because it has struck them with the force of revelation and seemed to explain and pull together so many phenomena that had appeared disparate and unrelated. They know that they have arrived at their destination, and can now survey the landscape from a vantage point that allows them to see behind mere appearances, and into things as they really are.

But the likelihood is great that for many of these men, the current set of beliefs is far from final, and the process of shedding them almost wholesale and acquiring new ones will be repeated. Indeed, I am convinced that some of the most passionately ideological and doctrine-besotted posters on this forum have another conversion or two in their futures. What had to seemed to go to the very core of one's worldview will be discarded almost overnight, like a spent battery that had once powered some loud device which is no longer in use.

The reason that the conversion process is quite likely to repeat itself is that it is precisely the need for belief of some kind, almost any kind, that drives the process far more than the content of the ideas themselves. These ideas and frameworks, so cherished at the moment of revelation and acceptance, are far more fungible than they seem; they are really the temporizing of intelligent and enthusiastic men who struggle to understand the world in all its complexity, and who know only that the socially condoned and dominant ideology of the time cannot help them. They alight on some pattern, some framework, that seems to impose order on the apparent chaos; they cling to it with great conviction; but as the ideological framework reveals itself, over time, to be a good deal less than adequate, they will eventually discard it in favor of a new one which seems to be more persuasive and meets the needs of the day.

It is precisely because the infallible ideas of today will so often, for enthusiastic and yearning men, become the discarded illusions of tomorrow that it's so important for men to be open to the world as it is, to find a way to engage it with a modest attentiveness that is not entirely blighted and evacuated by any fundamentally reductive ideology. Otherwise, a man will lose the world -- and all because of a set of beliefs and ideas that had seemed to fit well at the time, but that proved far too thin and threadbare a garment to survive the surprisingly long and various journey that life amounts to.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
10-03-2015 10:19 AM
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RE: Beliefs you changed your mind on... - The Lizard of Oz - 10-03-2015 10:19 AM

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